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Engaging Students with Video in the Classroom

Gone are the days when video was used as an end-of-the-semester reward or as a way to keep kids busy when a substitute teacher was called into the classroom. For kids in today’s K-12 classrooms, video isn’t just a distraction; it’s a tool.

Creating video is easier and less expensive than it’s ever been. Many students, teachers and parents have video cameras built into their laptops, mobile phones or tables, and most digital cameras can also capture video.

It’s also easier than ever to edit and share video. Tools like iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Animoto, YouTube and Vimeo are easily accessible, making it possible for teachers to use video to supplement classroom education or for students to complete video-based assignments.

There are many reasons why teachers incorporate video technology into their classrooms:

Video encourages engagement: Kids enjoy videos, and when video is used effectively, it can engage students, help them learn, and make classroom lessons more memorable. This teacher’s video, for instance, has his math students thoroughly engaged on the not-so-engaging subject of complex numbers:


Video supports multiple learning styles: Students learn in different ways, and video — which uses sound, visuals, and movement — appeals to students of more than one learning style.

Interactive, real-time video allows students to teleconference with students and teachers from other classrooms anywhere in the world. Field trips take on a whole new meaning when many museums and cultural sites offer virtual tours that teachers can use with their students in the classroom.

Video nurtures creativity: When kids are asked to storyboard, film and edit their own videos, they’re given a chance to communicate what they’ve learned in the classroom creatively.

Video is an important skill for digital literacy: In a world where “internet video accounts for 40% of all consumer Internet traffic” understanding how to effectively create and use video isn’t just a fun skill; it’s also a practical one.

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